Dimdim acquisition hand-in-hand with collaboration surge - Salesforce.com

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

US on-demand services provider Salesforce.com's (NYSE: CRM) acquisition of compatriot enterprise application developer Dimdim coincides with a rise in Latin America's collaboration demand, Salesforce.com's Latin America president, Enrique Perezyera, told BNamericas.

Earlier this month, Salesforce.com bagged Dimdim, which provides real-time communication technologies such as presence, messaging and screen sharing, for US$31mn. Salesforce.com said the move will fortify its existing collaboration tool, Chatter.

Within Latin America, collaboration interest from financial, consumer goods and telecommunications companies has been humming in recent months, Perezyera said.

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"In Latin America during this past year... some of the largest companies in the region have decided to acquire Salesforce technology and use it in different areas," he said. "There is a new area that is being used by clients, which is collaboration."

Salesforce.com's collaboration tools mirror Facebook and Twitter, but provide added information security and allow users to form closed networks, grouping both their clients and partner companies, according to Perezyera.

Aside from large enterprises, interest also exists among smaller firms.

"There is a significant trend toward real-time collaboration," he said.

Looking forward, additional focus areas include increasing regional sales of applications such as Salesforce Automation and Salesforce Customer Service and Support, as well as expanding the company's Latin American partner network, the executive said.

Salesforce.com is wrapping up its FY11, which will close January 31. Although unable to mention hard figures, Perezyera said the company's Latin American growth drivers during the past 12 months include many of the usual suspects.

"Our backbone every year - and this year is not an exception - includes Brazil, Mexico, Chile and Colombia," he said.

The company has more than 1,000 clients in Latin America, including media group El Mercurio, Brazilian federal energy company Petrobras (NYSE: PBR), Brazilian aircraft manufacturer Embraer (Bovespa: EMBR3), regional units of Spanish telecoms giant Telefonica (NYSE: TEF) and Mexican food distributor Bimbo.

Salesforce.com's global sales increased 30% year-over-year during the company's fiscal third quarter, ended October 31, reaching US$429mn. Net profits during the same period crept up 1.8% to US$21mn.